The Vicar and the Rake by Annabelle Greene
Society of Beasts #1
LGBT Historical Romance
October 12, 2020 by Carina Press
I’m always happy to try a debut author, especially in the historical romance genre, so when I spied the cover and read the blurb for The Vicar and the Rake I jumped on the chance to read an early copy.
I think this was a strong debut. There was a lot to like about the characters, setting, and backstory of these once close friends who haven’t seen each other in years. Edward is the rake in this story and Gabriel the vicar. While Edward was living it up in London and bedding every strong, young buck, Gabriel has taken vows and promised God that he would do his best to serve him if he would overlook Gabriel’s sexuality.
They are brought together when Edward flees London after getting caught in a compromising position and decides to hide out at a family estate and discovers Gabriel has taken ill…. in his flower bed.
This was a fun, steamy story that is kind of a mix up of the friends to lover/second chance romance tropes. There is a lot going on… murder, mayhem, house fires, a secret love child, missing jewels, and an underground club. I won’t go into it, but just when I thought the conflict was going to be resolved something else would pop up. LOL.
In the end, I did enjoy myself. I’m interested in learning more about the remaining members of The Society of Beasts in future installments.
Final grade- C+
Any Rogue Will Do by Bethany Bennett
Misfits of Mayfair #1
October 13, 2020 by Forever
If I’m being completely honest the cover for Any Rogue Will Do caught my eye first, and then when I discovered this was the first book in a new series by a debut author I was all in.
This book was surprisingly an easy read. I kind of expected a little more angst and to be more emotionally engaged with the characters and plot, but that didn’t happen. The two main protagonists have a history and some bad feelings between them before the book opens. I expected their dislike for each other to last a little bit longer than it did. Amesbury, the male lead, quickly apologizes and Charlotte, the female lead, accepts his explanation and quickly moves on. They become friends and partners in a fake engagement scheme after that.
I won’t dive deep into the plot, but it’s one that is seen in a few historical romance novels. Charlotte needs to find a husband to satisfy her father. She prefers one that will let her have control of her estate and live her life separate. I did like that the author went with a different type of hero to pair with Charlotte. Amesbury is a man who inherited the title through a series of deaths in the family and has never really been considered legitimate by his peers. He grew up in a modest home and it took a good, long while for him to acclimate to his new role. He’s not the typical cold, alpha lord of the manor and I liked him.
Their relationship was rather easy, even the conflict at the end is quickly resolved and they find a way to be together.
This was a nice debut from Ms. Bennett. A quick, steamy read for fans of historical romance.
Final grade- C+